SEATTLE -- Matt Hasselbeck and the
Hasselbeck completed six of his first seven passes on an opening-drive
touchdown and finished 8-of-11 for 75 yards as the Seattle Seahawks beat
"We had good tempo," Hasselbeck said. "Guys were playing fast on both sides of the line of scrimmage. It was exciting. It was a lot of fun out there."
Shaun Alexander and Maurice Morris each scored on 1-yard touchdown runs as the Seahawks built a 14-0 halftime lead. Rookie Josh Brown added two field goals in the fourth quarter.
"I'm glad we got to start with some PATs," Brown said. "The first-game jitters were in, but it got more relaxed as the game went along. The team played great. They set up some opportunities for me to kick some field goals."
The Chargers didn't use standout running back LaDanian Tomlinson, who wasn't hurt but didn't play as a precaution against injury.
"They were missing a pretty good running back, but it's always a good way to start," Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said. "When you win a game like that, it always gets your confidence going."
The Seahawks also made plenty of big plays on special teams and the defense denied the Chargers from the 3 late in the third quarter when Terreal Bierria intercepted a pass in the end zone.
With Drew Brees and Doug Flutie done with their work, Chargers reserve Cleo Lemon led a long drive inside the 5. His third-down pass to Tim Baker was deflected by Seattle's Willie Williams and intercepted by Bierria.
"We wanted to do things we had worked on in practice and continue to get better," Seattle cornerback Doug Evans said. "We ran to the ball and made plays. That's what a good defense does, the swarm drill."
Hasselbeck played two series and turned the offense over to rookie Seneca Wallace, who threw a 41-yard pass to Taco Wallace early in the fourth quarter. That led to Brown's 29-yard field goal with 9:15 to play.
Wallace finished 6-of-9 for 78 yards with one interception. Jeff Kelly played the last six minutes but didn't throw a pass.
Brown added a 47-yard field goal with 5:52 remaining. Linebacker Marcus Bell forced a fumble by scrambling San Diego quarterback Seth Burford, and rookie lineman Rashad Moore was credited with the recovery for Seattle.
The Chargers fumbled three times, losing two.
"This is a game of field position, and we had seven starts at or inside our 50-yard line," Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer said. "Penalties contributed to that. Turnovers contributed to that."
Burford broke up the shutout with a 13-yard TD pass to Grant Mattos with 1:55 left. That score was set up when Seattle's Jerheme Urban fumbled a punt that was recovered by San Diego's David Binn.
Hasselbeck looked sharp, though not quite as polished as late last season when the Seahawks averaged 475 yards a game over the season's final six weeks. That led the NFL over that span.
"That's my hope, that we can continue where we left off last season offensively," Holmgren said. "That's a big challenge because it's a new season with new dynamics, but Matt's playing with a lot of confidence. That helps."
Hasselbeck led Seattle to a 7-0 lead on the opening drive, moving 80 yards in 12 plays as Alexander scored.
He twice completed passes on third downs, finding Alexander for a 15-yard gain on third-and-6 at Seattle's 39 and throwing 14 yards to Koren Robinson on third-and-5 at the Chargers' 26.
Hasselbeck also had a 9-yard scramble to San Diego's 31.
"I've done a fairly good job of remembering what go us there (last year)," Hasselbeck said. "What we did is act like we didn't know anything and really paid attention to every little detail that our coaches were telling us."
Brees, working from a no-huddle offense to open the game, was 7-of-10 for 34 yards but played only two series. Flutie was 5-of-10 for 39 yards.
The Associated Press News Service
Copyright 2003, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved